If I told you something claims to save lives, but actually leads to injury or death; that taxpayers hand over $12-18 billion for it yearly; and that the only ones getting rich are corporate purveyors with a harmful product - you'd probably get angry.
But if I told you that "something" is animal research, chances are you'd tell me about "necessary sacrifices...to save human lives...especially the children."
In reality, animal experimentation is a multi-billion dollar business. It is a broken model inspired by profit.
Every drug sold is animal tested. That's the law. But in recent years, at least 1734 drugs proven safe for human use in animal studies were recalled due to Adverse Drug Reactions (U.S. Food and Drug Administration records). ADRs are the 4th leading cause of USA deaths. Approved medical products harm 2 million people annually. At least 100,000 die (Journal of the American Medical Association).
In 2012, Big Pharma brands will rake in $156.3 billion. Generic drugs will earn another $52.8 billion. These moneymakers are rushed through sloppy, duplicative animal experiments to get to a pharmacy near you as quickly as possible.
According to C. Glenn Begley, former head of global cancer research at Amgen, many landmark "discoveries" published in prestigious journals, most gleaned from animal experiments, cannot even be reproduced a second time!
"It was shocking. The pharmaceutical industry relies on these studies for drug development," Begley notes in Nature Journal, March 2012. Failure is blamed, in part, on animal models "irrelevant to cancers" or other disease, used in an academic setting that fosters "poor science, even fraud, as researchers compete for funding."
If too many "discoveries done in animals are wrong," as Begley and others from the research industry admit - why does National Institutes of Health annually lavish $12-18 billion taxpayer dollars on medical schools, mostly for animal experimentation?
Perhaps the WHY does not count as much as the IS: Animal research IS awarded more funding, more quickly, than sophisticated animal-free technologies. Animal studies facilitate tenure for university researchers required to churn out papers with new findings.
Never mind that many findings are absurd, a lot of "curiosity experiments" about how animal response to stimuli (that a human would never encounter) might somehow relate to human behavior. Research grants help pay university utility bills and overhead unrelated to medical science.
Animal research is not about "saving the rat or the child" as the anti-animal rights contingent likes to say. Animal research is about flawed science that delays medical progress and harms humans.
When viewed in this light, animal research becomes a:
- Human rights issue
- Patient rights issue
- Consumer rights issue
- Taxpayer rights issue
It ought to concern anyone who cares about:
- Government overspending
- Corporate corruption
- Health/safety for themselves, their children...
Where is public outcry over research fraud, like the outcry over tobacco industry fraud? Shouldn't medical products be labeled, "WARNING: This product is proven safe for use in animal experiments - but may cause disability or death in humans."
If you are an animal advocate, watch Kinship Circle's film to reframe your messaging and promote animal-free research systems. If you are like the majority who know little about a subject that directly affects your well-being, watch Kinship Circle's film.